NZ South Island Feb 2010

A few shots from the trip. I have tried to avoid the 'here's another great view' syndrome, but sometimes you just have to do it..........

These pics are roughly chronological, we landed in Christchurch 6th Feb

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In the Botanical Gardens, Sue was pretty taken with this large tree
They have a fantastic Arts Centre based in the old college buildings. There is a good restaurant there called Annies Bar
It doesn't really show in the above pic, but somebody with taste has been restoring some of the decorative stonework. Here is a small example any one know the technical term for this composition? Particularly the two-faced dude in the centre. There has to be a name for it, but as yet I do not know what it is. Help please!!
From Annies on Sunday lunchtime, you could sit and have lunch and listen to this sax quartet

Dunedin University, Sue and Vans in front of an interesting arch
It gets more interesting if you look at the carvings above the arch
And in more detail left hand side and you guessed it right hand side
Just along from the northern spur of the peninsular at Dunedin, there is a beach. Here at the edge of the beach is a bench. Now you are probably thinking, so what?
Well, on closer examination, the inscription on the commemorative plaque reads neat huh?
Same walk, pic of Donny, Sue & Vans
Checking out a pic it's Sue, Vans & Donny
From Dunedin we went south to the Catlins. Just to prove that I can burn grub on the barbie as well as the next man here I am tending to my spicy pork balls the doctor says they'll never be the same again
It is a well known fact that women know little about the art of the bbq, but here is Sue offering advice which natch, I am taking no heed of
Here Donny and Vanya join me and my birthday cake
Same cake with my lovely wife

We stayed at a place on the edge of town, here it is Kepler Mountain View Cottage
And here is Lake Manapouri
Sue by the lake
Even when awestruck by the scenery, it is essential to maintain a healthy lifestyle and eat regularly

Doubtful Sound
To get to Doubtful Sound, first we took a ferry across Lake Manapouri, then we were driven over the Wilmot pass, from where you see the first glimpses of what lies ahead Doubtful Sound stretching seaword
And when not gawping at the sound, we could look up at the many waterfalls but they never look as good afterwards, you really have to be there to appreciate them best
Once on the boat we cruised down the sound amidst some very spectacular fjord views
And here is a classic picture of the long white cloud
Occasionally, but not too often, it was possible to sit and pose
Whilst on Doubtful Sound we were royally entertained by the dolphins, here's one out of the water
Here is another fish out of water. Sue with the first catch of the day a red moki the first of two for her rod
G with his first catch Sea Perch I also caught a Blue Cod, but by that stage Sue wasn't feeling too good so had retired to the upper pooped deck
Also on the trip we had great close ups of a couple of visiting Albatross
There were only 11 passengers on board, about half of whom were whacko, but two exceptions were Jane & John. Unfortunately my composition was a better idea in theory than in practice
We stayed overnight on the Sound, and the next morning was pretty spectacular as the sun came up following an overnight shower pic1
that's enough dawn pics!
And finally a group photo of the motley crew aboard

Milford & Knobs Flat
After the Doubtful Sound trip we headed towards Milford Sound, staying overnight at the rather risque sounding Knobs Flat.
Not far away, about 10 minutes walk if you didn't get lost was this waterfall in the forest
Between where we were staying and the sound was Lake Gunn here I am on the shore What shores? Thank you very much I'll have a large Grouse
Looking a bit sombre it's Sue at Lake Gunn
On the Milford Sound cruise G&Sue. Would you buy anything at the door from this man? No, neither would I.
Milford sound had more dolphins than Doubtful but they weren't anywhere near as playful
Here is the sound
And here it is again
At early light, from our chalet Knobs Flat at 7 a.m.
Shortly after, the sun has warmed things up a bit and the mist starts rising and moving away from the mountains

Okiwi Beach
We didn't stay overnight, but en route Nelson we stopped at Okiwi Beach
Also on the way to Nelson, we got caught in a sheep herd. Just drive through them slowly said one of the ladies moving them. The headlights of the oncoming vehicle belong to a Morgan. The driver decided to sit it out and wait rather than choosing the drive through them slowly option. I reckon there must have been about 800 of the blighters, so losing the odd one probably wouldn't worry the farmer that much.
From Nelson we went to Collingwood Where we fought our way through the crowds
And marvelled that the trees come right down to the beach
Tired from such exertions we retired for lunch at the Old Court House

En route to Kaikoura we drove down the road that overlooks Marlborough Sound
At Kaikoura, we stayed on the seafront, this is the view looking out to sea
Moonlight view from outside our apartment pic 1
This was taken from a high point above the town, we were advised to evacuate there because there was a tsunami warning. View down on the town but no sign of the tsunami. Unfortunately, the tsunami warning also scuppered our whale watching trip, as all sailings were cancelled for the day that we had booked.

Towards the end of our time on the South Island, we went to Akoroa (Banks Peninsular), the views were pretty stunning
More Akoroa view
We went for a walk out of Akaroa into the hills outside the town. I whacked my head badly on a tree and frightened a cow that was sheltering in it's shade, but that's another story. Near the memorial garden outside the town was this Mr Burns lookalike (the one on the left)
We also found two good restaurants, namely the Little Bistro and Vangionis. Unfortunately we don't have a picture of either of them, or a sample menu so guess what... here is another view instead
Coming back from Akaroa to Christchurch, at Lyttleton we saw this fantastic schooner in dock

Christchurch again
At the end of our stint on the South Island we returned from Akaroa to Christchurch.
One of our first acts was to return to the Arts Centre to buy the possum skin art we had seen when we first arrived Possum Pete (no relation to brother-in-law) and female
The City was preparing for the annual Flower show (think Chelsea in the sun). Many large floral based artworks were to be seen in public places. Like this whacking great rose in the Botanic Gardens
And these large blooms outside the Arts Centre
And this fine example of Genetically Modified?
Not sure if it was connected to the flower festival, or just a coincidence, but at the Autism Centre (next door to a great restaurant called Cook-n-with Gas, and opposite the Arts Centre) a Mackenzie Thorpe sculpture had appeared since we were last here
Here is the inscription. The title sums up how we feel about the South Island
Departed Christchurch 5th March

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